Makeup dupes (short for duplicates) will help you save money. They are a comparison of high-end cosmetics and their drugstore/mass counterparts. Makeup dupes give you similar finishes, shades and application, for a fraction of the cost of high-end cosmetics. In some cases, they may be even better than their higher-priced counterpart. We tested products from every price range to bring you the best makeup dupes. All the products tested are excellent. They were tested head to head for performance, lasting power and overall quality.
The Competitors – Tatcha Silk Canvas Protective Primer $68 at Sephora VS. ELF Poreless Putty Primer $9.97 at Walmart
Primers are used to help your complexion products like foundation last longer and to ensure a smooth application. They can also fill in large pores and provide a flawless finish. These primers are often compared as dupes, but they really aren’t. Tatcha Silk Canvas is more moisturizing. ELF Poreless Putty Primer is more smoothing and pore filling. The textures are completely different.
What You Are Missing Out On By Buying The Makeup Dupe: The beautiful packaging. Tatcha’s product is also more hydrating if you have dry skin.
The Winner: ELF Poreless Putty Primer helped my makeup last longer and made my skin feel smoother.
The Competitors – Smashbox Photo Finish 24 Hour Shadow Primer $26 at Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique VS. Milani Eyeshadow Primer $12.49 at Shoppers Drug Mart
I can live without a face primer, but an eyeshadow primer is a must. Not only does it help eyeshadow stay on your eyes longer, it also make the area smoother so that there is less creasing.
What You Are Missing Out On By Buying The Makeup Dupe: Nothing. There is no difference in performance. The packaging is even similar. Out of all of the products that we tried; this is a true dupe. Remember a little bit of each of these products goes a long way.
The Winner: It’s a tie. They are both great and perform equally well. If you want to save money, buy the Milani Eyeshadow Primer, but if you will only purchase luxury makeup, Smashbox’s primer is your best bet.
The Competitors – Nars Blush in Orgasm $39 at Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique VS. Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso $11.49 at Shoppers Drug Mart
Nars Orgasm is the blush that started a craze. It is likely one of the few blushes that people can name off the top of their head. It is the perfect pink-peach with just a touch of golden shimmer. If you are looking for something comparable at the drug store, then Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso is your best bet. The colour is very close and it also has a golden shimmer.
What You Are Missing Out On By Buying The Makeup Dupe: The packaging is the biggest difference. Milani is mica-based from an ingredient standpoint, while Nars’ main ingredient is talc. The performance is pretty similar, but Milani does take more building up which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Nars also has more product with 4.8 grams versus Milani’s 3.5 grams. The price per gram is still less expensive with Milani.
The Winner: It’s a tie. The performance is great with both. The Nars Blush takes at least two years to go through, so it isn’t a bad price for the amount of product that you are getting. If you are on a budget, Milani’s blush has beautiful pigment and it goes on sale regularly.
The Competitors – Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Highlight in Opal $50 at Sephora VS. Wet ‘n Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals $7.29 at Shoppers Drug Mart
Becca is a company that was built on the strength of their highlighters. They are among the best in the business. They have collabed with influencers like Jaclyn Hill and reality stars like Chrissy Teigen, Khloe Kardashian and her BFF Malika Haqq. Wet N’ Wild has been around forever, and they do really good quality makeup at an affordable price. Their Megaglo Highlighting Powder is one of the best that you will find at the drugstore.
What You Are Missing Out On By Buying The Makeup Dupe: Again, it comes down to packaging. The only challenge with Wet N’ Wild is that their packaging can break, but, you can depot it. Precious Petals is also lighter than Becca’s Opal and less creamy.
The Winner: It’s a tie. Wet N’ Wild’s highlighter has a very good formula, and not just for the price. Becca’s is excellent, and also comes in a mini-size for $29.50 if you want to try the more high-end version.
The Competitors – Viseart Theory Eyeshadow Palette in Amethyst $60 at Sephora VS. Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Quads in Petalette $4.29 at Shoppers Drug Mart
Viseart is known in the makeup industry for their perfect matte formula. Their quality is second to none and the Amethyst is no different. The Theory palettes typically have three mattes and three shimmers and you can create multiple looks. They are all travel friendly. Wet ‘N Wild’s eyeshadows have a cult following since the launch of their Comfort Zone palette years ago.
What You Are Missing Out On By Buying The Makeup Dupe: The packaging is still a big thing. Viseart has created one of the very best purple toned palettes on the market with the Amethyst. Purple shades are notoriously difficult to perfect and these are smooth and long lasting with very little fall out. The Petalette Quad is not an exact dupe, but a good alternative if you are looking for something in the same colour family. It is surprisingly good for the price. You can only create one look, but it is pretty.
The Winner: Viseart – even high-end palettes can’t compete with their formula. We have to give kudos to Wet ‘N Wild for a great product ata low price. If you are intimidated by colour, it is easy to use and they even label where to use each shadow. It’s a steal at $4.29.